JERUSALEM: Israel this morning took aim at Pope Francis, describing his appeal for tolerance, compassion and understanding across the region as “unhelpful for the peace process”.
Speaking in Bethlehem during a three-day visit to the region, the pontiff called for an end to the conflict and the recognition of the rights of every individual, a move Benjamin Netanyahu later slammed as “disappointing”.
“This talk of reconciliation and fraternity between Israel and the Palestinians is not what we expect to hear from the leader of a major world religion,” the Israeli prime minister said in a statement. “Unless it addresses our right to dominate and subjugate our enemy in their own homes, we don’t feel it advances the cause of peace in any way.”
Netanyahu also criticised the Pope’s decision to meet with Mahmoud Abbas and discuss Israel’s attempts to push Palestinians out of Jerusalem.
“By talking about harmony, the Pope is demonstrating the age-old animosity of the Catholic Church towards the rights of people from Brooklyn to live in other people’s homes thousands of miles away,” he added.